(courtesy of Natalie H. Wiest - Canoeing and Kayaking Houston Waterways) - book available in-store
When I was researching historical information on the Spring Creek. I was amused to see how many Spring Creeks there are in Texas. This one was also known as Arroyo de Santa Rosa del Alcazar and starts in north-eastern Waller County. It forms the northern boundary between Waller and Harris, and Montgomary and Harris counties. As the name implies, it has long been fed by springs along its length, and early Native Americans camped on its banks before Europeans ever came this way. Remnants of hardwood forests line its length; a series of parks are planned to make the stream more accessible and preserve its beauty. The Spring Creek Greenaway Project targets 12,000 along the creek as a nature preserve and outdoor recreation facility. Some of the sand for the beaches in Galveston, and indeed along the Gulf of Mexico, come from streams like this, as well as rivers, bayous, and creeks. The sandbars are beautiful and numerous. You should find one to your liking for a lunch or a snack stop.
Access 1: Old Riley Fuzzell Road Crossing
Directions. Drive north on Aldine Westfield Road from the Mercer Arboretum to a T-intersection. Turn right and cross under the Hardy Toll Road. Stop where the road crosses Spring Creek, carefully park your car, and walk your canoe and gear down to the creek.
The canoe launch was improved and dedicated to the public in April 2007. Currently you need to park at the barricade at the end of the older section of Riley Fuzzell Road to access the launch. You can take a short trip of 2.8 miles to Pundt Park downstream or a longer 11-mile trip to Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center. If the latter is your destination, you must arrange a shuttle in advance and permission to use the Jesse Jones Park canoe launch for a takeout (281-446-8588). Make sure Spring Creek water flow will support your trip; this is a very long way to have to drag your canoe or kayak over sandbars if the water is too low, a situation that happens with some frequency.
Access 2: Pundt Park
Pundt Park was opened in 2010 some 2.5 miles downstream of the Riley Fuzzell launch.I provides a primitive canoe launch (no improvements, just access to the stream). It also has picnic facilities, restrooms, and a trailhead for the walking trail of the Spring Creek Greenway. Hart Lake and Heron Pond are here, too, but canoeing and kayaking are prohibited on them. It is 8.3 miles from here to Jesse Jones Park. Call Pundt Park (281-353-4196) for more information or reservations.
Access 3: Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center
Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center is located at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. To be sure the park will be open, and the boat ramp accessible when you arrive, call (281-446-8588). This park offers many activities for family members or friends who may or may not want to participate in the canoe trip. If you would rather go with a pro before you shove off to do this trip on your own, there are staff-guided pontoon rides from the park and staff-guided canoe trips on Spring Creek. Both activities require reservations at least 10 days in advance. Be sure to visit the park’s website for other acivities (www.hcp4.net/jones/). There are nice playgrounds and restroom facilities available.
If you would like to use this as a put-in rather than a take-out, you can paddle downstream about 4 miles to where Spring Creek joins the San Jacinto River and take out by the US 59 bridge at Edgewater Park.
Access 4: Edgewater Park
Directions: From Jesse Jones Park, head south on Kenswick Drive to FM 1960/FM 1960 Bypass. Turn left of FM 1960 Bypass, and travel 1.7 miles. At the intersection with the Eastex Freeway (US 59), go north on 59 for 1.8 miles. The highway map I consulted makes the next step rather complicated. Take the first exit north of the 59 crossing of the San Jacinto, and make your way south until you are almost under the bridge. It doesn’t appear that an access road crosses the river.